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E00796: Fragmentary Greek monumental building inscription of a monastery (?) of holy physicians (probably *Kosmas and Damianos, brothers, physician martyrs of Syria, S00385) founded by the patrikios Solomon and Epiphanis. Found near Adramytteion (western Asia Minor), possibly 541/542.

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posted on 2015-10-18, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[τὰ ἐγκαίνια τοῦ ναοῦ τῶν Ἀναργύρων σπουδῇ καὶ]
[προνοίᾳ - - -]αρεικίου Σωλομῶνος (καὶ) Ἐπιφανίδος
(καὶ) πάντον τõν γεναμέν[ον ἐνταῦθα] ὁσίον πατέρον
ἐγένοντω. ΧΜΓ ϙθ + S
[ἐπὶ] + Ἐπιφανίου μιζοτέρου [καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ δεῖνα]
ταπινοῦ [μοναχοῦ πρωτοπρεσβυτέρου] συν[κ(έλλου)] κ(αὶ)
[ἡγουμένου(?)] • • • [ἰ]νδ(ικτιõνος) εʹ +
[ἀθλητα]ὶ Χ(ριστο)ῦ, ἰατροὶ τõν παθῶν πρεσβεύσατε [ὑπὲρ]

2-3. [Τ]αρσικίου (?) Σολομῶνος (καὶ) | [Ἐπι]φανίδος (καὶ) πάντον τον γεναμέν[ον Feissel, [ὑπὲρ Κ(?)]αρκεικίου Σολομῶνος (καὶ) | [Ἐπι]φανίδος (καὶ) πάντον τον γεναμέν[ον or ων] Mendel || 3. Ἐπιφανίδος S πάντων τῶν γεναμέν- - Wolters, - -φανιδος -S πάντων γεναμέν- -Wiegand || 3-4. [ὁσ]ίον πατέρον = ὁσίων πατέρων Wolters Wiegand || ΧΜΓ ϘΘ +S or ΧΜΤ ΦΘ +Wolters, ΧΜΓ ϘΘΓ0Ο Wiegand || 5. Ἐπιφανίου without cross Wolters Wiegand || 6. ΓΑΙΙΙΝΟΥ Wolters, Συν[έτο(?)]υ or ΕΥΝ[ομί(?)]ου Wiegand || 7. omisit Wolters, [τὴ(?)]νδε + Wiegand || 8. ̣Ι Χ(ριστοῦ) [ἰα]τροὶ τõν = Ι Χ Ι ἰατροὶ τῶν Wolters, Χ(ρηστο)ῦ ἰατροὶ τῶν Wiegand

'[The monastery (?) of the Unmercenaries was consecrated by the efforts and under supervision of the p]atrikios (?) Solomon and Epiphanis, and all the local holy fathers. ΧΜΓ, (amen). And [under] + Epiphanios, the steward (meizoteros), [and under ... ], the humble [monk and protopresbyter], syn[kellos] and [higoumenos (?)]. In the 5th indiction. [Champion]s of Christ, physicians of sufferings, intercede [for them].'

Text: I. Adramytteion, no. 32. Translation: P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kosmas and Damianos, brothers, physician martyrs in Syria, ob. 285/287 : S00385

Saint Name in Source

[ἀθλητα]ὶ Χ(ριστο)ῦ, ἰατροὶ τõν παθῶν

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Adramytteion Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - abbots Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Aristocrats Peasants Officials


Four fragmentary architrave blocks found in the area of Edremit (Adramyttion), in the ruins of a Byzantine monastery on the island of Yumurtaada Adası, to the north-east of the island of Neso. Moved to and stored in Ayvalık, and currently kept in the Museum of Bursa (inv. nos. 90-94). Blocks A-C are made of blue marble. Block D is made of white marble but the editors claim that it belongs to the same inscription. Recorded dimensions – block A: H. 0.195 m; W. 1.38 m; Th. 0.245-0.375 m; block B (two fragments): W. 1.36 m; block C: W. 0.9 m; block D: H. 0.17 m; W. 0.81 m; Th. 0.195-0.33 m.


Fragments of the discussed inscription were assembled by Henri Grégoire, who managed to create a coherent text, but one must remember that the order of the fragments and the contents of the reconstructed passages are hypothetical. Grégoire believed that it was the building inscription of a monastery of Saints *Kosmas and Damianos, because some holy physicians (ἰατροὶ τῶν παθῶν) are invoked in one of the preserved passages, and the ruins, where the inscription had been found, were said to have been once a monastery. Josef Stauber says that this theory is acceptable as monasteries were sometimes consecrated to these saints and served as hospitals. Dating is based on the identity of the founder of the religious complex, identified as a certain patricius Solomon by Grégoire, based on the contents of line 2. The name Solomon is not common in Late Antiquity, and Grégoire proposed that our Solomon might have well been the Justinianic aristocrat who governed North Africa after it had been conquered by Belisarius (see PLRE 3, Solomon 1). This Solomon became consul before 535, then served as magister militum and praefectus praetorio Africae (534). He was famous for his wise governorship and generous foundations, including city walls, other fortifications and monasteries, e.g. a fortified monastery in Carthage (see Procopius, BV II, 26.17). Solomon became patricius in 539/540, so if he is identical with the author of our inscription, it must postdate this year, as the title, according to Grégoire's restoration, is mentioned in line 2. The only 5th indiction before Somolon's death (in 544) falls in 541/542. We must note, however, that the term patricius does not appear in Mendel's copy. It was Grégoire who emended the mutilated word ΑΡΕΙΚΙΟΥ to π]α<τ>ρεικίου. Mendel read the passage as Κ(?)]αρεικίου, which he thought to be an otherwise unattested form of the name Καρικός, and Denis Feissel, in a letter dated 17.09.2016, suggested that we might have here the name Τ]αρσικίου, as the presence of the title of patricius before, and not after a name would be strange, just like addressing a high-ranking official and common monks in one sentence. Therefore, the identity of our Solomon with the aforementioned praefectus praetorio Africae is questionable, as well as the dating argued by Grégoire. The woman, called Epiphanis, who is mentioned as a co-founder, was claimed to be Solomon's mother by Henri Grégoire. Josef Stauber prefers to consider her Solomon's wife. As for the function of Epiphanios, appearing in line 6, Lampe argues that the term μειζότερος means 'a headman of a village acting under the jurisdiction of an abbot' (see PGL, s.v. μέγας 2b with a reference to the present inscription), after Grégoire's interpretation that the office of μειζότερος corresponds to that of μείζων. Both terms are well documented by papyri from late antique Egypt, and, based on their study, Lajos Berkes in a recent discussion of our inscription (2017, 104 note 115) challenges Grégoire's and Lampe's argument, as well as the identification of the functions of μειζότερος and μείζων. The term μειζότερος seemingly describes a steward and is also common on Byzantine seals.


Edition: Die Inschriften von Adramytteion, no. 32. Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 47. Mendel, G., "Catalogue des monuments grecs, romains et byzantins du Musée Impérial Ottoman de Brousse", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 33 (1909), 357-360 (nos. 115-118). Wiegand, Th., "Reisen in Mysien", Athenische Mitteilungen 29 (1904), 259. Wolters, P., "Funde", Athenische Mitteilungen 25 (1900), 119. Further Reading: Berkes, L., Dorfverwaltung und Dorfgemeinschaft in Ägypten von Diokletian zu den Abbasiden (Philippika - Altertumskundliche Abhandlungen 104, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017), 104 n. 115. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 76. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. 3, Solomon 1.

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